The paper “ The Marketing Law in Australia - the Trade Practices Act of 1974" is a meaningful example of a case study on the law. It does so by examining and analyzing in detail the case of the ACCC v Waverley Woollen Mills Pty Ltd. It gives background or history of the case and determines Why the ACCC took action against Waverley Woollen Mills. Furthermore, it attempts to answer whether the ACCC should have taken action against Waverley Woollen Mills and the reasons for it. Lastly, it also aims to understand if the sections relied upon by the ACCC are good laws that will protect the interests of the consumers.
Various cases similar to Waverley Woollen Mills will be used to prove this particular point and establish that the Trade Practices Act’ s main responsibility is to protect consumers. Marketing Law – AustraliaWaverley Woollen Mills Pty. Ltd. , is a company based in West Melbourne in the Australian state of Victoria. Their business areas include mohair, wool, woolen blankets, travel rugs, and wool-filled bedding products. Waverley Woollen Pty. Ltd. , supplies a wide range of products in Australia and overseas.
These products are manufactured from wool, mohair and alpaca fiber. In the first half of the year 2009, Waverley Woollen Mills Pty. Ltd. , gave an undertaking to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), under S. 87B of the Trade Practices Act of 1974. The history and reason behind the undertaking are as follows. History and BackgroundFrom the year 2004 to the first quarter of the year 2005, Saigon Wool Company based out of Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam, manufactured a range of woolen jumpers known as Work Wear Jumper for the Tasmania based company Blockmack Pty.
Ltd. Approximately 16,540 woolen Work Wear jumpers were manufactured by Saigon Wool Company from wool fiber that was spun in Australia but woven in Vietnam. These jumpers were imported into Australia. In July 2005, Waverley Australia Pty. Ltd. , purchased the assets of Blockmack Pty. Ltd. , and in the process, Blockmack transferred the ownership of the Work Wear jumpers to Waverley Australia as a part of this transaction. Once the assets were bought over and the ownership transferred, Waverly Australia began selling the Work Wear jumpers through its factory outlet and several of its retail stores in Tasmania and also through an unrelated company in the United States of America.
In October 2008, Waverley Woollen Mills Pty. Ltd. , purchased the business operated by Waverley Australia and thus assumed ownership of the remaining Work Wear jumpers. Between October 2008 and February 2009, Waverley Woollen Mills began selling the remaining Work Wear jumpers in its possession, from its factory retail outlet on the mill site in Launceston. The collar label on the Work Wear jumpers read “ Product of Australia” , openly describing the product as one that is made in Australia.
The underside of the plastic packaging containing the jumper had a sticker attached to it, which read, “ Product of Australia, Assembled in Vietnam. ” Following an investigation, the ACCC, which is responsible for enforcing the Trade Practices Act 1974, alleged that Waverley Woollen Mills Pty Ltd. , had breached the sections 52, 53 and 55 of the Trade Practices Act, in representing the jumper as a “ Product of Australia” , when it was in fact manufactured in Vietnam.
According to s. 52 Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth), a corporation is not allowed to engage in misleading or deceptive conduct or conduct that is likely to mislead or deceive. Additionally, s. 53 Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth), a company is prohibited from making false or misleading representations regarding the place of origin of goods. Based on the above two sections, it can be said that Waverley Woollen Mills is answerable to the ACCC, as they have falsely misrepresented the place of origin of the Work Wear jumpers sold by them.
They have claimed that it is a product of Australia, when in fact it was made in Vietnam. Furthermore, according to s. 55 Trade Practices Act 1974, a person in trade is prohibited from engaging in conduct that misleads the public with reference to the nature of the goods, manufacturing process, characteristics or the suitability for their purpose. Here again, Waverley Woollen Mills has breached the Trade Practices Act 1974, by misleading the public regarding the manufacturing process of the Work Wear jumpers. The fact that they have breached the TPA is further proved based on the test for representations that goods are a product of a country given in s.
65AC Trade Practices Act of 1974. The first point in s. 65AC TPA states that a company claims that its product is made in a country when it uses words such as a product of or produces. This claim has been made by Waverley Woollen Mills in the label of its jumpers. However for a company to claim this, s. 65AC TPA gives two main prerequisites. Firstly, each of the significant ingredients or components of the goods must have that country as the origin and secondly, all of virtually all of the processes involved in the production or manufacture of the good must happen in the country specified.
These two conditions have been breached by Waverley Woollen Mills Pty. Ltd. , as the wool used for the jumpers was woven in Vietnam although it was spun in Australia. Since for a claim such as “ Product of Australia” , all products and ingredients have to be manufactured and processed in Australia, the claim made by Waverley Woollen Mills is considered false and misleading.